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ENERGY TECH
Material makes electricity from waste heat

by Staff Writers
Evanston, Ill. (UPI) Jan 18, 2011
U.S. researchers say they've found a material that can generate electricity from the waste heat of car exhaust systems or industrial processes and equipment.

Researchers at Northwestern University placed nanocrystals of rock salt into lead telluride to create a material that is expected to be able to convert 14 percent of heat waste to electricity, a university release said Tuesday.

"It has been known for 100 years that semiconductors have this property that can harness electricity," chemistry Professor Mercouri Kanatzidis said. "To make this an efficient process, all you need is the right material, and we have found a recipe or system to make this material."

"We can put this material inside of an inexpensive device with a few electrical wires and attach it to something like a light bulb," said Vinayak Dravid, professor of materials science and engineering and co-author of the paper. "The device can make the light bulb more efficient by taking the heat it generates and converting part of the heat, 10 to 15 percent, into a more useful energy like electricity."

Automotive, chemical, brick, glass and other industries that use heat to make products could make their systems more efficient with the use of this scientific discovery, Kanatzidis said.



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ENERGY TECH
Renewables could supply 99.5% of power by 2050: Greenpeace
Brussels (AFP) Jan 18, 2011
Renewable energies could furnish 99.5 percent of European Union electricity needs by 2050 if nuclear loses its priority access to distribution networks, Greenpeace said in a report released Tuesday. The environmental campaigners said that windfarms are "often stopped in peak production periods to give priority access" to electricity generated by nuclear reactors and coal-fired power stations ... read more







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